Monday, February 4, 2019

The Beginners Goodbye by AnneTyler


Paperback:  198 pages                                                                                                 

Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Chatto and Windus 2012
Source: My Bookshelves
First Sentence: The strangest thing about my wife's return from the dead was how other people reacted.
Favourite Quote: “That was one of the worst things about losing your wife, I found: your wife is the very person you want to discuss it all with.”
Review Quote: "Deeply rewarding novel about grief and hope, infused with gentle humour" (Sunday Times)
Main Characters: Aaron Woolcott, Dorothy Woolcott
Literary Awards: Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (2013)International DUBLIN Literary Award Nominee (2014)

My Opinion: I have read a few of Anne Tyler's novels, but have never reviewed any before as it was prior to setting up this blog.  I actually read this one back in 2016, from my old notes I liked this one but did not have any particularly strong feelings. 

The story is basically about the protagonist's journey through the grief process and adjusting to life after his wife died.  This exploration of loss I found difficult to cope with at times, despite reading it a few years after my husband died.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.

Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. 

Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye. 

A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

Author Profile:

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 25th 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and many other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America and The Beginner's Goodbye. 

In 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English' and in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime's achievement in books. In 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel, published in 2018 is Clock Dance.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page        Facebook Profile    Anne Tyler - Goodreads Profile

No comments:

Post a Comment

I indulge my love of books with this blog and it makes it all worthwhile when you leave comments. I really am interested in what you think so do let me know. I have decided as the nature of this review blog makes for conversation in the comments, just to reply here and not individually, so please subscribe to comments or call back again to stay in the conversation. Thankyou for your continued support.